A taste of summer: berry salad

Earlier this week I was invited to the launch of McDonald's latest dishes, the Cherry Berry Chiller and Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal.  Since they're both berry inspired, McDonald's celebrated with a berry-themed dinner party at The Culinary Loft in downtown Manhattan.  Chef Dave Martin (of Top Chef fame) and his team created a wonderful menu featuring berries in each and every dish.  I loved his Summer Watermelon Salad so much that I couldn't even wait a day after arriving back home to recreate this dish and serve it to Alfie and the kids.  After all, I got two days of food and fun in Manhattan while they had soccer practice and pasta -- it was the least I could do.

Fortunately, we were given the recipes for everything we had at our berry-infused dinner.  This berry salad is so easy to prepare, and it tastes as good as it looks.  It's the perfect summer salad, and I'm sure we'll be making this again and again:

Summer Watermelon Salad

Yields 6-8 salads

12 oz. red watermelon or yellow watermelon, small dice
12 oz. red tomato or yellow tomato, small dice (or heirloom tomatoes)
12 oz. fresh blueberries
* the key here is to have the watermelon and tomatoes have contrasting colors, but if you can't find the various colors, it's all still great with the red on red.

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 Tbsp. basil, chiffonade
1 Tbsp. mint, chiffonade
3-4 Tbsp. goat cheese, crumbled

  • Dice the watermelon and tomatoes and set aside.  
  • In a small mixing bowl, blend oil, lime, honey, salt & pepper and whisk away.  
  • Prepare the basil and mint at service time (to avoid browning) along with the goat cheese.
  • Dress the melon with the dressing and add another sprinkle of salt and pepper to season the melon and tomatoes.
  • Add the herbs and then garnish with the crumbles of goat cheese and serve immediately.
If you are prepping the salad ahead of time, just keep all of the ingredients separate until you are ready to serve.

* bonggamom's note: Jammy doesn't like goat cheese, so I didn't toss the goat cheese into the salad at all.  I just kept it on the side so anyone who wanted it could sprinkle it on their salad.  Chef Dave doesn't mix it in either, since it gets kind of ugly, and works better as a garnish anyway.

Disclaimer:  I attended McDonald's Flavors of Summer event as a guest, and McDonald's provided all travel and accomodations.  I was not asked to blog about this dish or the event.  The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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